BY MATT TUCK
Your Eternals keys are about to spike again now that the first footage has been released. Let the hype officially begin.
Although it was short and mixed with a slew of release dates and overall MCU hype, audiences around the world are getting their first look at The Eternals.
Disney and Marvel Studios clearly expect a lot from this movie. Earlier this year, the cast and crew for the film had said it was like nothing that Marvel had ever produced. Last week, director Chloe Zhao won the Oscar for best director for her film, Nomadland. Now that we have our first, albeit brief, look at The Eternals, the excitement for its November release date will propel those key issues to new heights.
But first, the big question…
WHAT’S AN ETERNAL?
After Jack Kirby left the shores of Marvel Comics, he took his talents to DC, where he created the cosmic Fourth World of the New Gods, Darkseid, and Apokolips. When he returned to Marvel, Kirby was enamored by the Fourth World, and he wrote and drew the first issues of a similar concept, Eternals.
Created by the Celestials around the Stone Age, the Eternals are a race of superpowered, technologically advanced immortals. In Marvel lore, the Eternals would provide the genetic framework for all the superheroes to follow, and we will likely see that history added to the MCU.
Ikaris is poised to become a breakout star not only in the MCU, but also in the comics as a result. Marvel Studios has said that he and Sersi will be the two main protagonists for the long-awaited film. With Richard Madden, fresh from his Game of Thrones and Rocket Man fame, playing the character, it stands to reason that Marvel has bigger plans for Ikaris besides this one particular movie.
Whatever larger role the Eternals play in the overall MCU remains to be seen, but I am betting it will be significant. Who knows? With all the hype surrounding this movie, it could be the first superhero film to ever take home the Academy Award for Best Picture if the hyperbole can be believed.
The last time a 9.8 swapped owners, it went for $3,100 on April 21. Aside from a record-high $3,450 on April 1, most of the high-grade sales had been in the upper-$2,000 range. With the sneak peek in the release date footage, I expect $3k will soon become the norm for that 9.8. For that matter, it would not surprise me to see it cross into the $4k territory before June.
The better deal by far is the 9.6. While you are only giving up 0.2 of a grade, which is basically the same to the naked eye, the price tag drops below $1k. In fact, the latest sale was for $840, and that is a great deal for a comic that is about to consistently surpass that four-digit mark. Even so, it is a much more budget-friendly alternative to the 9.8’s massive prices.
Another grade you should consider is the 7.5. Just yesterday, May 2, two copies sold for $230 and $223. With a record high of just $243, this mid-grade copy could be the perfect solution for a collector on a budget looking to cash in on the Eternals.
Along with Ikaris, Sersi will share the Eternals spotlight, and that will mean a price hike is in store for Eternals #3. Not that her first appearance even needs one at this point. After all, the 9.8 is now firmly in $1k territory, and that was prior to the new footage being released. With Sersi co-starring in The Eternals and considering the hype surrounding that film, I expect her to quickly ascend from virtually unknown to fan favorite in the eyes of mainstream audiences practically overnight once we get a full trailer.
Here is an issue that is ballooning by the day. That same 9.8 averaged $610 in 2019, but it plummeted last year, ending with a $356 FMV. Things have changed in a hurry, and anyone who grabbed a 9.8 for less than $400 is reaping the rewards. On Saturday, May 1, one copy sold for $1,175. The day before, another 9.8 garnered $1,080. That means it has nearly tripled in value since this past weekend. Now that the hype machine is officially kicking off, this will hit the ridiculous phase very soon.
If you are working on a smaller budget, I recommend the 9.0. You are still getting a near-mint copy, but for a fraction of the cost. In fact, the last copy sold this past weekend netted less than $200, and that is up from last year’s FMV of $63.
Along with those Eternals keys, you will want to watch Dane Whitman’s debut as the Black Knight and first cover appearance in Avengers #48.
This one saw a huge spike in FMV last year when Kit Harrington was announced for the role, but it had leveled off since then. We don’t see him in the newly released footage, and that is a good thing for collector’s looking for Dane Whitman’s keys. Once we do see the Black Knight in live action, look for this issue to reach new heights.
Compared to Eternals #1 and #3, collectors have passed over Avengers #48 as of late. The only grade sold in this first week of May was the 4.5. However, it has already reached a record-high $610 on May 2. A year ago, it never sold for more than $206.
On the high end of things, the 9.2 marked the highest grade of an Avengers #48 to sell last month. Up to this point, it had not shot up at a feverish pace, and that could be a silver lining. A year ago, it averaged $1,037. While it has passed that mark in 2021, the prices are still within about $100 of its 2020 FMV, but that will only last until we see our first images of Dane Whitman in full costume.
After the 2020 lull, those Eternals keys are going to be in full gear likely this week. If you have not grabbed them yet, don’t hesitate or else they will be completely out of reach.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.